You’re probably hearing the word hybrid every which way these days (and not the car kind). While hybrid offices definitely existed pre-pandemic, they’re becoming more and more popular.
What is a Hybrid Office?
According to global consulting firm McKinsey & Company, hybrid offices are “the Next Normal.” The idea is that as the world recovers from COVID-19, thought leaders will need to reimagine many of the ways we do business. The hybrid office is one of those reimaginations, its crux being flexibility between working from home and in an office space. That #WFH life has become the norm for many during the global pandemic, and some remote workers feel they've been able to stay focused and extremely productive when working at home. The idea of the hybrid office is to give employees the freedom to work from home some days and in the physical office other days for meetings, collaboration, and general interaction with coworkers.
What should you consider while starting a hybrid office?
As with any business decision, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of a hybrid office before determining whether it’s a good fit for your team and workflows. Studies show productivity increases in hybrid work environments, but there can be communication gaps and loss of social capital. Are you and your employees set up to rely on technology to do things you may have done in person before? If you’re looking for ways to cut costs, hybrid offices can help lower expenses when it comes to in-office supplies and utility bills. Company leaders should talk through these important points to better understand the benefits of a hybrid office and to be prepared for any potential challenges.
Designing Your Hybrid Office
If you decide to move forward with a hybrid office, there are three main things you need to consider for it to be successful:
1. Set Clear Expectations
It’s important for you and your employees to understand the expectations of a hybrid office model, so establish them from the beginning. Employee productivity can be at-risk so set clear expectations. Due to the nature of their role, some workers may not be able to work from home; be sure to include who the new policy applies to and establish when employees will be required to work in the office.
2. Create the Best Workspaces
Now this is the part where you get to have some fun designing a hybrid workspace. There are a lot of hybrid office layout benefits, including safety. It allows for easier social distancing in the office. It’s super easy to reconfigure your current office space into a safer one. Because of the quick pivoting of the office furniture industry, we’re able to say with confidence that physical office spaces are not “cancelled” or gone for good. Products like workstation dividersthat mount directly to the desks are one of the easiest and sleekest solutions to a safe open office plan. Also consider that your employees will need a quality workspace for their home office.
3. Choose Technology that Works
The third thing you should plan while working on your hybrid office solution is what technology you will use to keep your team connected. Whether it’s Zoom, Teams, Slack, Google, or a combination of several tools, you’ll need to consider what works best for your team and budget. Video conferencing and communication tools are essential to keep your distributed teams throughout your organization connected.
There will be both benefits and challenges to any change you make to your day-to-day business operations, and making the decision about whether or not to go with a hybrid office model is no different. For building out your “next normal,” the Juniper team is here to help! Our experts have helped transform workspaces based on unique needs for far longer than COVID has been around. We’ve got you!
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or click on the live chat in the bottom right corner.